"We should always be disposed to
believe that that which appears white is
really black, if the hierarchy of the church
- Ignatius of Loyola
The other night on my early evening walk I found
myself strolling beneath the branches of this tree, pictured
here. I'd been feeling a
bit of the pain of my own woundedness and feeling it
regarding that of others I'd hurt in the past, and I
stopped to gaze above and ponder those things, and this tree.
I did a bit of looking about on the web and found that this is called a mimosa tree, and it
has blooms of bright red wisps, hundreds of them,
and I thought, yes...
They are just like my sins.
Hung there up on the tree, stained by the blood of
Christ. Up there taken away, put far away by God and
His eternal forgiveness. An amazing blessing,
I had to realize, however, that along with those of
mine, many of these are the sins of others
— no matter how horrific, the things others have done in the past to
hurt me are there too. God's forgiveness means
nothing unless I forgive others too.
It doesn't mean we turn a blind eye to the wicked things
people can do to one another, that we turn a deaf
ear to the rotten ways people encourage people to do
What it does mean is that there are generally two
ways to approach the interactions among men.
The World way and the Kingdom way.
I've written for 13 full years in this webzine about
these ways, and blogged at least once every month
augmenting them. It does indeed comprise quite
a written volume, and if print publishing was not
losing its viability as a means of information transmission I
would love to assemble it into
a decent sized book. Maybe I still will, we'll see.
But these truths don't exist merely in a modest
webzine or blog, they're already fully detailed in
Scripture, and I'd like to think there are a few out
there who do grasp the contrast. Sadly, I see so
very little to indicate many really do. I pray like
a crazy man that there'd be more who'd act
courageously on Kingdom truths, but, well...
The latest evidence of the eminently august World System song and
dance is this action by Donald Trump
to constrict the impact of what is regularly called
"The Johnson Amendment", the provision in federal
statute that prohibits church personnel from
openly and actively engaging in politically partisan
behavior as a condition of the church's 501c3
non-profit tax exempt status.
The idea is simple: Church bodies who officially
endorse a candidate in a civil election are doing so
outside the bounds of their tax exempt privilege
— other politically active organizations that are generally not
religious in nature do not have that same privilege.
I wrote an entire webzine piece on this phenomena,
and emphasized the double-mindedness of people in a
church assembly who from one side of their mouth
proclaim "Jesus is Lord" while from the other either "Smith should be elected to be Lord" or "Caesar
tells me I can't tell everyone we should all make
Smith our Lord".
When President Trump signed this order, he did a
couple of interesting things. He said, "We're giving
churches their voices back." Hmm, does Caesar
determine what things a group of Christ's genuine
disciples may or may not say on behalf of the
Kingdom? Trump's statement is true enough
— for those who ask Caesar to regulate their speech. I wonder, what
precisely does a Christ follower, living by His
perfect law of love, need Caesar to govern regarding
Trump also directed the IRS to use "maximum
enforcement discretion" in administering the new
policy. Many church leaders were delighted about
— finally the U.S. government was firmly easing the threat of
revocation of the tax exemption should a pastor let
slip from the pulpit that he indeed favors Smith in
the next election. The core problem is that this is
a plain confession that a church official of any
stripe is eagerly welcoming the law to govern their
affairs. Scripture clearly states that the law is
the power of sin but that those with Christ's name
on their lips should be living by Him in Truth and
Grace, above and beyond the precepts of law.
The essence of what Trump did though, really, was...
He did nothing that is any different than it was
before. Nothing will change no matter how much
oblivious pastors are now breathing easier or how
much squawking legal
organizations like the Alliance Defending Freedom
can let their guard down a bit. 501c3 tax exempt
non-profits are under the thumb of Rome's magistrate
in some measure. Most high-falutin church personnel
will still be careful about what they say because
they know deep inside they're compromised. Some more
will indeed feel emboldened to let their
parishioners know what's what about a given
So what. The fact is nothing will happen because the
mainline church is just about dead anyway. It doesn't mean a spittle of
anything is because the church is pathetically
moribund, and much of that is precisely because it
is so beholden to Caesar.
There are gobs of evidences to demonstrate
this truth. Just browse through George Barna's work
to get a taste of how wretchedly milquetoast the
church has become in having a significant impact on
society. Allow me to use a simple anecdotal
incident to illustrate this.
A month ago I spent the weekend with my elderly
father at his home about 100 miles away. On Sunday
morning we attended the services of the area's Presbyterian church, I thought it would be nice
since I grew up
with a Presbyterian background and my dad is a bit
more of a traditional Christian. I had not been to
such a service for some time.
The church building was large and pleasant, one of
those mid-size city kinds built in 1970 or
thereabouts. It was well-kept and landscaped, and
the parking lot had a good number of cars there.
When I walked inside, however, it was very
interesting, and very disturbing.
Among the attendance of about 80 all together (not
even filling a fourth of the entire sanctuary), I'd
say about 60 of them were 70 years old or older. Of
the around 10 or so who were 20 or younger, every
one of them looked like they did not want to be
The following Monday at the invitation of a friend I
attended something called "The Skeptics Forum" in
which Reasons to Believe founder Hugh Ross answers
questions about science and the cosmos
— his work is awesome. He shared the most amazing things about how
science points to God in every instance. There were
about 60 people there, but the troubling thing is no
one was under the age of 30, maybe a sparse few.
Most were over 40.
Where are all the Millennials?
Really? Are they all off just grooving to the latest
Taylor Swift bilge
— or the Christian equivalent? How much intellectual and spiritual
rigor are they getting in churches today? Yes I
can't extrapolate what the world of the next generation
like from these experiences. But really, what
is the reality of what's happening, is
it any different beyond the conclusions of my
Because the Society of Jesus has been so successful
extirpating Protestantism from the inside of the
church itself, there is really no difference
between the religious and the secular. Young
persons today are much more likely to adopt the
perspective of Caesar's officers
— most significantly whatever the academia and media say they should
believe and behave, much because the
church is no different. In the mainline church older
people are either adapting to the secular drumbeat
or dying off all together. Even churches that are
hip, happenin', with-it, and pimped-out for the
millennial generation are desperately stunted if
they are 501c3's.
Church has merely become a social gathering place
where pithy things are shared
— no different from the secular counterpart whatever
that may be. "Alternate spiritualities" are
considered just as viable for "life enhancement".
The most pronounced Americanist mantra is "This is
what I believe", you know, to avoid getting somebody
ticked off you'd actually know the truth, that you'd be
so uncouth as to ruthlessly try to employ some oppressive power
grab over them.
The benighted proficiency of the Jesuit Order has so
emasculated 501c3's that they don't stand for
anything anymore. They have become the
quintessential "God club", just a place to hang out
and smile at everyone else. There is no conviction
of sin ("Don't interfere with sexual freedom") no sorrow for
the horrifically wounded ("Caesar has a government
program for that") no recognition of the
workings ("Rome is just a meaningless Christiany
thing") no desire to judge righteous judgment
("The worst thing is to be called a
narrow-minded bigot") and no capacity to richly
elucidate the wide deep love of a Risen Savior
("Jesus is just a fairy tale after all but we'll
still humor you")
I'm convinced much of this is because churches
refuse to become ungrafted and be truly, actually,
fully sold out to Jesus.
When I looked up information about the mimosa
tree, I discovered something else interesting about
them. I found that the seeds and the seed pods are
extremely poisonous. Made me think more about the
metaphor, the seeds make for another fine
part of it.
For the tree to grow the seeds must die.
But what happens if you want to eat those seeds?
Maybe they are very tasty, I will never try to find
How many people do.
How many people are so enticed by the World System's
designs and attractions that they take
and eat. How many people at one time long ago
were young (or young at heart!) and committed and
courageous in vibrant Protestant churches drawing
people to Christ and fellowshipping with them in His
riches and glory?
Do you know a while back I heard about a scholarly
sociology study that proved that the single most
important factor in a nation's fine industrialized
economy benefitting from the least amount of
corruption in government was the measure of robust vibrancy
of the Protestant church 100 years before? Not what
it is like today, but 100 years previous.
Not any old church, but the Protestant one.
find that quite telling?
What does the Protestant church look like now?
And what does that tell you about what it may be
like 100 years from now?
Again here is the
link to the pages with information
about the dangers of a 501c3 obligation.
Here is a page
with thoughts about being in the world
even when insisting not being so.
This recent home page piece gets
into the truth that there is indeed hate
speech for which the speaker will be
held to account. The question is what is
it exactly that comes from the speaker's
mouth? Is it righteous or unrighteous,
that is the real question.
A page with my take on the authoritative
Some pages about being ungrafted, that
is, separating a worship assembly from
all the debilitating provisions Caesar
For those who may take issue with my
characterization of the church,
particularly the most industriously
evangelical mission-focused churches, I
have a page
with objections addressed. I am not
so cynical as to disregard the efforts
of the genuinely faithful, take a look
there for more specifics about
legitimate concerns with this premise.
Here is a pdf of the study
demonstrating that the truly determining
factor of enjoying corruption-free
society is the impact of Protestantism
in a given nation 100 years before.
George Barna's website is
Ignatius Loyala is the founder of the
Roman Catholic Church's Society of
Jesus, or the Jesuit Order.
The last three verses of the 15th
chapter of the first letter to the
Corinthians: "The sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law; but
thanks be to God, who gives us the
victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be
steadfast, immovable, always abounding
in the work of the Lord, knowing that
your toil is not in vain in the Lord."
In case you'd like to read through this
webzine as a book, start
here and at the
bottom of each page is a link to advance
to the next "chapter". A table of
contents is here.
Some thoughts about The One Who Is Truth
And Grace are